Small restaurants, big followings

Good things come in small packages, as the old adage goes, and this is certainly true for a half-dozen eateries around Lake Tahoe. Though their square footage may be small, the followings that these Lake Tahoe restaurants have garnered — and the flavors they’re cranking out — are anything but.

Cafe Fiore

Located in a tiny rustic cabin in South Lake Tahoe, Cafe Fiore serves award-winning upscale Italian fare alongside a well-curated and lengthy wine list. With just seven tables in the restaurant, the dining experience is intimate, as Chef Gilberto Ramos cooks elegant dishes like his famed eggplant crepes (thinly sliced eggplant stuffed with smoked salmon on a bed of sherry cream and sun-dried tomato sauce). Lobster fettuccine in a lemon tarragon sauce and medallions of filet mignon served on toast with a dijon mustard green peppercorn cream sauce are other entrees that regulars rave about. No meal at Cafe Fiore would be complete, however, without a dish of its housemade white chocolate ice cream topped with berries and mint.

The eggplant crepes are a special appetizer created by Chef Gilberto Ramos and, like many of the dishes on Cafe Fiore’s menu, have stood the test of time. Photo: Lauren Lindley
With just seven tables to serve, every dish at Cafe Fiore — like the medallions of filet mignon served on toast with a dijon mustard green peppercorn cream sauce — comes out perfectly cooked and plated. Photo: Lauren Lindley

The Divided Sky

The Divided Sky is a hub for Meyers locals who appreciate the familiar faces and cozy feel of the second-floor restaurant and bar. For nearly two decades The Divided Sky has served up an elevated soup-salad-sammie menu with favorites like the Paul Reuben, piled high with thinly-sliced pastrami, organic sauerkraut, pepper jack or swiss cheese, dijon, and homemade 1000 Island dressing. With a solid beer list, outdoor balcony dining with a view and the “Best Dang Carrot Cake,” The Divided Sky is a great spot to enjoy the local flavor.

The Divided Sky is a beloved local hangout for Meyers locals with a good beer selection, quality food and great views from the second-story deck. Photo: The Divided Sky

Brewforia Craft Beer Kitchen

Tucked in a shopping center in Incline Village, Brewforia Craft Beer Kitchen is a specialty beer market-meets-eclectic eatery with a loyal fan base after just three years. From Texas BBQ and chicken tinga burritos to Korean pizzas and meatball subs, owner Rick Boyd says it’s all about food that pairs well with beer. The restaurant and market may only have 49 seats, but it has over 500 beers in the market’s coolers and a rotating selection on draft.

Brewforia Craft Beer Kitchen in Incline Village is beloved for its huge selection of beer and eclectic global cuisine. Photo: Brewforia

Jax at the Tracks

If anyone knows good eats in small spaces, it’s celebrity chef Guy Fieri who featured Jax at the Tracks in Truckee on his Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, in 2016. Inside the 1948 Kullman diner shipped in from Philly, Jax at the Tracks serves up comfort food with a twist. Crowd favorites include the crab cake benedict made with real Maryland Blue Crab, housemade hollandaise and English muffin, avocado and hashbrowns as well as the kobe beef meatloaf wrapped in applewood bacon and drizzled with a rootbeer raisin glaze (both featured on the show).

T’s Mesquite Rotisserie

In a no-frills restaurant in Incline Village, devoted diners are entranced by the slow rotations of the rotisserie behind the counter, heavy with juicy whole chickens and beef tri-tip. After several hours of slow cooking, the tender meat finds its way into burritos, tacos, tostadas, sandwiches and quesadillas. Served alongside homemade salsa — including the much-loved sweet and tangy verde version — it’s no wonder that T’s attracts customers from all over the lake.

Front Street Station Pizza Company

For gigantic New York-style pizza slices on a deck right along the scenic Truckee River, look no further than Front Street Station in Tahoe City. The restaurant serves by-the-slice and full pies that have earned it the title of the North Shore’s best pizza from multiple publications. Front Street Station also serves burritos, tacos and quesadillas that diehard fans rave about, especially when topped with their homemade hot sauces and chipotle sauce.

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